Paralyzed people using wheelchairs have to cope with many problems in daily life: Many places are not handicapped accessible, no eye to eye communication, back problems, digestion problems, problems with joint mobility and spasticity. These people could benefit of actuated orthosis (so called exoskeletons), that let them stand and walk in an upright position. Some exoskeletons have emerged on the market in the last few years ("Ekso", "ReWalk", "Indego") but can only be used with cruches.Other applications for exoskeletons are augmentation of abilities (e.g. in factories) and rehabilitation.
The developement of exoskeletons include different research fields:
- actuation (high performance, energy saving actuators have to be developed)
- elastic elements in the actuation system
- pHRI (physical human robot interface)
- kinematics (nonantropomorphic vs anthropomorphic kinematics)
- control and prediction of human motions
There are possible topics in all research fields. Applicants should be proficient in mechanical engineering and / or mechatronics.